Crowland Pilgrimage

“We stand wasted all, our speech in splinters.”

We shall not suffer servitude. All day the South wind and the North near upon these far-off fields. We mourn for all who lit by suns since disappeared, their songs too thin to speak of. Not to have known sorrow in these lands shade moves around the poor in night or snow. Poor that they is as all men warring, enraptured for cities built fantastically but unnecessarily.

They say by my grandmothers slender fear or anticipation you might see spear-points shimmer in the bracken still, for then and she danced and thrust and laid down many leagues of such impoverished souls.

Hardly any scavengers shook the rain I sogged boots-in-mud thinking of these things, their grey wings folded this way and that with wild anxiety, yet new hopes rendered by the salt pools and, lord! I slipped awoke on hidden gems.

Even so of poppies and purple of a wide sea. Time loses others and to accept others for ends which they do scorn. Thorn overgrown while probably they slept, travellers moss and blue sylphs gather fair. Beyond that, faint and climbing one of wooden watchtowers would only show me farmsteads, a few streams, the churchyard holding court.

Slowly the light and drops little notes of storm beyond with hint of battle. Village richly burning those who, unable to the fanciful calmly and content be still and friendly. The green tracts just between the final walls of night a lantern in the calm air. Far was trouble.

North winds reveal and lead a narrow path for warring kings, a memorial thrust from ages past, a clamouring spear-wave drove our way from sanctuary. Alone I find a strange appeal in memory, and enjoyed to ride the solemn tract of boughs. The thorn-hedged beauty cleansed the coffined heart, to tread along the crest was so much more once shed the poor decrepitude.

Alas my sympathies could not sustain, “Death is free to smother kin within grey mists”, yet on and on and we remember all the living.

Nearing tragic stones the dream reveals some crumbled cottage, upturned pans and churns and kitchen clutter, the dry clump of pond upon the outmost edge. Fields fret beneath a windmills slowing turn.

Our heavy eyelids the one true joy cannot first claim, in greeting they were cool reflected reeds. A woman bent for wisdom knows it, and that abide somewhere in the world perhaps no longer known to common men.

A broad glimpse of ripened Earth, fixed to spine drawn reedy boughed beneath. “Crowland was always winter”, a wash of knuckled masonry and wind-whipped root. Beside the path no comfort to be found, one-hundred fair on horseback riding hard, not one of them too fearful nor too joyful.

Heavy burdens the weight of inheritance, my own worn shield-deeds set apart. How when I ponder the pervasive bloodied wealth the coarse heat lapping under all the groves. If it is to be on fire our lord laughs surely and considers all the million miseries manifest, from the ashes bearing shoots with barren seed to the broiling sea-broth smoking ships.

Tending war-mask one hand on hilt I rend constraints shackling to ground, “I am of stout stock strengthened by steady-roots”. Dead language tongue-tip curled in exultation. Speaking words to memory men forgot, sowing in abundance over fallow fields their treasured spear-thrusts plunging proud. Even the sabbat noble bared no hollow self.

Northern winds temper not a wayward blaze, and I who seek no favoured counsel know this ghost of reverence alone.

A church draped in wreaths and rosaries, half-penny forced into mortar buried with them, all that remains for three rich men or more. For the old aching god who has already proffered death left a prophecy which is among us yet to pass. “Surely it is her who in the sea that rises steeply salts the harvest moon”.

Over the ridge rose thunderstorms antlered head, hints at great might of emotion when walls slick from rain make May seem ever more the dawn. Born into it with the touch of wizardry, for what with the stone-face of this revering and casting perfect shadows there.

For all the footpaths and all I was, by grass or water, I returned to earthy spoils. For such a task produces choirs in their soils. The church now belongs to those with such a presence on the eyes, as the Autumn wrest an honest man, whence can he gather to its edge.

All voices in the churchyard drinking hollow, save those little mounds of soul the ash piles heaped. While the hope of Spring succeeds I take it then, the hundred breaths. Lungs wild on the flowers up the hem of hedge.

Come the morn I'm back at work on precious stones, were that I not too weak-armed nor wan-headed. We stand wasted all, our speech in splinters. Every comfort sunken into scorching sands. Perhaps the years long forged are better disappeared. They hearken to the drench of his inheritance.

It trips them, dull kinsmen, as bright as any thane seizing it is bright. Among the last high throngs of them a rune carved song, singing still some moments of wild traversal. Warily has settled the renowned light of their crowns once jewelled, seed-scattered since over waning fields.

Now the lands all solemn temples scoured of my father's heaven, where multitudes follow all that fallow grasses. I find myself regarding them as one regards wisely wayward leaves and scrawny famines.

I think free from will, severing a will not to stop from me to know its fruits. The silver plied upon ornate jewellery, the gold buckled over sheath. Memories all. We know too how kindred pulled away, how stung still from swelling gifts an honour fled a kingly home.

Above the cast-iron stove hang your baneful friends. The last a brother grey in hair, buried in an unsmooth tree without and poor alike. The Yew shined a wide welling spilling gathered ashes. Over teeming roots with black beetles with green shoots gripped by hoary stones. Countless a steed somewhere is proud in its fodder for flesh on Earth, when once upon in the forest it was folded into well-trod past.

Subsequently this high wall swells with kinsmen often. It is said that every one has a prosperity and should venture it down upon the fissure, if it is not so far melancholy in the remembering. Them who’s wise must bind too the broiling sea surrounding.

My own mouth lain awrack with broken exhalations. I watched usher from the gates the grave-dead, towards the firmly-rooted wood. Frowns hurt in heart and a harrowing for hooves, where heroes scarred storm-walls still have mercy. Great work wrought in disentangling past from present, the stretch of peaked roofs along the valley worked with many troop-roads, waves of red-clay raced by in scrawny wagons.

Thus a sentiment settles for the crest. I the rings are mine, and the grove where the Holy Heaven’s King who never was. His peerage all perished but remnants proud to wisdom and a comforting hall. At least tonight we dine glad together, to choose perhaps that earth sown paleness to seed.

“Are we so impregnable and inaccessible?” and so they say “too easy for him to see the heart?”.

Now the returning hunt clatters home in the same colours, and stirring moonlit yellow foam. I cried, “It would be five men and six turn up!”.

Desirously, it would be sunrise before we could be embedded in the heather and flowering there. And indeed many sages too can tell you of this work in foreign unknown tongues.

An aspiring sense, really. “We are no more sober for we drank deep and tripped over rockets of red flax!”. Which means that time loosed its thorny ends and in the sea of airs the riches found, the sweetest ennui of all the valley.

The mountains pool at the bottom, we talked melodiously and of passion or fresh jewels. Silver embroidery in the curved clouds where the woods dimmed to meet us, speaking with a fascinating voice that said, “To the richness of heaven and earth-dwellers, Persephone cooled in place a pale lilac, humming for their ruined Eden”.

The use of mine eyes to destroy. The few people at the inn never made more for breaking seven rows of feather each. The second step and story had been surely mine, and for that he laughed terribly, with warm wind swept strong by his long belief in it.

Then by and by a complacent joy filled at the will of it all. There will be fine sleeping and swelling of the frame tonight, the bone and foregut strengthened, to be certain that they who comes to it carries away a May-pole on a Holy-day. But to be mindful of Church groans and such caws with genial voices. These things that are a wonder claim first the longevity which no one sees, except by ascension.

Be on now, busy with building the most reverent halls and, if he knew anything what was good for him, walls and roofs chosen by one of heart. “Your foundation stone protrudes”, though I confess it guarded by hundreds of wisp things, robed safely in anticipation.

“I forgive that neither are strengthening matters”, not when partaking within their coarse old rhymes. The song work-men sung to her rude crags. Drenched of like in water she maintained a bloody serious mind, stone clasped in either hand the rise and fall of holy evening landscape. “Hush!”, the uncertainties of their notes carelessly discard us. We carve in quiet fortitude.